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Suffolk Chequer - Chicken
Suffolk Chequer Details
UsesExhibition, a meaty bantam for table use.
EggsLight brown or cream
Weight, cock1.25 kg
Weight, hen1 kg
ParentageBantam Barred Plymouth Rock, unidentified hybrid hen
The Suffolk Chequer Club
Suffolk Chequer Description
Breed standardisation success
Congratulations to Trevor Martin and the Suffolk Chequer breed club for gaining breed standardisation for the Suffolk Chequer from the Poultry Club of Great Britain. The decision to recognise the Suffolk Chequer as a unique breed, in the True bantam class was made on the 14th May 2013 at Swedenborg House, London following an application made in March 2011. The last native domestic fowl breed to gain standardisation was the Wybar in 1956. Making the Suffolk Chequer quite a rare achievement. The unique points of the breed, its use as an exhibition fowl and the increasing interest it is receiving will hopefully ensure its survival.
The breed has been developed by Mr Trevor Martin of Norfolk in a process that has taken 15 years, starting in 1995.
The Suffolk Chequer is an active bantam with a heavy and muscular body and a calm docile nature. The breed has been developed to enhance and improve the original Barred Plymouth Rock type. One of the key reasons for improvement was to increase the size of the tail, a feature that has dwindled in size in the barred Plymouth Rock due to specific selection for greater precision in barring. The body type is an important factor in defining the Suffolk Chequer as a unique breed. Birds must maintain a compact and strong body and yet remain within the proposed weight limits. Males should exhibit a ‘U’ shaped negative space between the neck and tail. This is most obvious when males are alert and can be seen when they strut around, often in a proud and defiant manner. The preciseness of barring in males and females is not of primary importance and should not be perfectly defined like in the Barred Plymouth Rock. By no means should breeders ignore the desired type of the breed or the fullness of the tail in favour of colour markings.
Suffolk Chequers are suitable for hobbyists of all ages and experiences but it is important for anyone considering taking up this new breed to appreciate that the breed must be carefully selected each generation to maintain the desirable carriage and tail that are characteristic of the breed.